The number of positive coronavirus cases reported in India stands at 19,984 and the death toll is at 646. Globally confirmed cases have reached 2,546,527. The death toll is now stands at 175,812.
Amidst this unprecedented health crisis, in West Bengal a political tussle has emerged over Inter-Ministerial Central Teams visit to the state. The state government did not allow the teams to visit certain COVID-19 affected districts today. The Ministry of Home Affairs has written that the Centre’s orders are binding on the state. It has reminded the Supreme Court directions on the same lines, it has asked West Bengal to provide the Central teams all support they require to assess the situation.
The TMC has said that ‘while states were fighting Corona, Centre was fighting states’. TMC leader Derek O’brien tweeted,
MHA letter to the state government has said, “It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry that both the IMCTs, at Kolkata and Jalpaiguri respectively, have not been provided with the requisite cooperation by the State and local authorities. In fact, they have been specifically restrained from making any visits, interacting with health professionals, and assessing the ground-level situation.”
After West Bengal complained about the accuracy of coronavirus testing kits yesterday, the Rajasthan government today said it had stopped using the rapid testing kits sent by the ICMR. The State government said the kits were only 5.4% accurate (instead of giving 90% correct results) and therefore useless. In its press briefing today the ICMR’s R Gangakhedkar said that three more States were asked if they had similar complaints. He added, “We have, therefore, decided not to ignore the findings. Eight teams will be sent to the fields for validation of the kits. We will suggest to the States not to use the Rapid Tests for a couple of days, after which we will be in a position to advise them. If the kits are found faulty, we will take it up with the manufacturer.”
Meanwhile, the US President Donald Trump has said he will temporarily suspend immigration in order to protect the jobs of Americans. “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signalistning an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” Trump said.
One of the worrying issues is that the journalists in the line of duty are getting infected. 53 journalists out of 167 television journalists have tasted positive in Mumbai.